You may have heard of probiotics, but may not be entirely sure what they are and how they can be beneficial. Probiotics are live yeast and bacteria.
Both yeast and bacteria get a bad rap for causing disease and making you sick. It is true they can be harmful. But there are also good types of bacteria and yeast that help you stay healthy. For example, there are bacteria present in your gut that helps prevent certain illnesses. But in some instances, such as when you take antibiotics, “good” bacteria can be destroyed along with bacteria that gets you sick.
By taking probiotics, you can replace the good bacteria in your body. Probiotics can also help destroy the bad bacteria that may make you ill. Most probiotics fall into two groups and include Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, and both may play a part in more than just digestive health. Consider some of the following health benefits of probiotics:
1. Fights weight gain
It can be easy to gain weight, which may explain why the obesity rate continues to climb in the United States. Of course, there is no magic pill to slim down. Weight loss requires healthy eating and exercise. But when it comes to losing weight, there may also be other things you can do, such as taking probiotics, to increase your chances of success. There have been studies that indicate people who are obese may have a higher level of certain types of bacteria in their gut, which extracts more calories from the food they eat. The extra calories get stored in fat cells. Taking probiotics may decrease the chances of having that type of bacteria present in your intestines. Probiotics may also help regulate blood sugar levels and leptin, which is a hormone that play a role in appetite. Although different strains of bacteria may be beneficial, it appears Lactobacillus is most helpful.